Facilitator’s prompts

Youth work story-telling: Facilitator’s prompt sheet  

Introductions: Ask everyone for:

  • Name
  • One-liner on their youth work experience


Ask participants to read through programme including:

  • IDYW ‘cornerstones’
  • ‘Practising’ section from This is Youth Work Book in brief


Write task on flip-chart  

Describe an example of your practice which represents you practising as a youth worker in your current setting.

Ask people to:

  • take a few minutes to think of a story from practice re task. (Not everyone need offer one)
  • bear in mind that if their story is chosen they will be asked to expand it and then be interrogated on it by the group.
  • prepare a headline of the suggested story

Stories to be:

  • Drawn from direct experience:
    • In which story-teller was active
    • Not from book, magazine, hearsay etc.
  • Recognisable as a story relevant to today’s task.
  • Not unduly complicated or lengthy
  • Not necessarily a ‘success’ story: with complications,contradictions, dilemmas, etc.
  • Not raising difficult or upsetting issues for story-teller.


Jane – working with a group of young people in a youth club through music activies.

Mary: Supporting a group of young mothers

Ahmed: Working with group of young men around police harrassment……


Collecting brief outlines of stories:

  • Ask for volunteers to share just the headline of their story.
  • Note the person’s name and the headline of their story on a flipchart

Keep momentum going – don’t let people talk for too long. Seek 4-6 stories. (May take too long for everyone to offer a story).


Choosing one story to explore:

  • Encourage open discussion on which story would best help group to address the task – and why.
  • If one story emerges as most popular, seek agreement to choose that one.
  • If no consensus after c.5 – 10 minutes – ask people to vote; take the majority vote.
  • Tick on flipchart each time a story is mentioned favourably.
  • Ensure the person whose story it is is OK to expand it, answer questions, etc.


Telling the chosen story in more detail.

Capture main points on flip chart

Explain confidentiality rules:

– Only share information story-teller comfortable with

– Don’t use real names of agencies, colleagues, young people

– Don’t share sensitive information outside the session

Ask the story teller to do this – facts, process, people involved, motives, etc.

Encourage participants to ask questions of the story teller – to get fuller picture, clarify points, expand on how things happened – eg re:

– Who did/said what? With what effect(s)? On whom? Etc?

– What interventions etc helped the action along? By whom?

– What got in the way/diverted it etc?

– For the worker – were there dilemmas/uncertainties/pulls and pushes?

– Was the work ‘unfinished’? If so how?

– Were there outcomes? Of what kind? For whom? How do you/we know?

Capture main points on flip chart


Invite the group to ‘unpick’/analyse/have a dialogue on:

– How is the story a response to task?

– What are its messages on the distinctiveness of youth work/its process etc?   

– How far does it ‘fit’ ;

– IDYW’s youth work ‘cornerstones’?

 -The ‘Practising’ features handout?

– Are there barriers to this kind of practice in the story’s setting?

– Are there wider barriers to this kind of practice?

– How can we promote/defend this kind of practice?

Note responses on flipchart.


If time: ask story-teller to retell story in light of the ‘unpicking’.


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